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Individual Determinants of Social Fairness Assessments: The Case of Germany

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  • Hennighausen, Tanja
  • Heinemann, Friedrich
  • Bischoff, Ivo

Abstract

In this contribution we study the determinants of how individuals assess the social fairness of a given income distribution. We propose an analytical framework distinguishing between potential impact factors related to the following fields: first fairness preferences, second beliefs on the sources of economic success and the functioning of democracy and third selfinterest. We test this framework on representative survey data for Germany for the years 1991, 2000 and 2004. Our results indicate that self-interest, beliefs and fairness preferences jointly shape fairness assessments. In addition, a number of personal characteristics are found to be important: Compared to their western fellow citizens, people born in GDR have a more critical view at social fairness. A particularly strong impact is related to the belief on the functioning of the democratic system. This points an important role of procedural fairness for the acceptance of a given distribution. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-063.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7386

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Keywords: fairness preferences; economic beliefs; ALLBUS;

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References

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  1. Marco Faravelli, 2006. "How Context Matters: A Survey Based Experiment on Distributive Justice," ESE Discussion Papers 145, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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  19. Dolan, Paul & Edlin, Richard & Tsuchiya, Aki & Wailoo, Allan, 2007. "It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it: Characteristics of procedural justice and their importance in social decision-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 157-170, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Friedrich Heinemann & Ivo Bischoff & Tanja Henninghausen, 2009. "Choosing from the Reform Menu Card – Individual Determinants of Labour Market Policy Preferences," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(2-3), pages 180-197, June.

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